More new works planned for band's second concert

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
From top, on trombone, are Jacques Toney, Isiah Guthrey, Ryan Layton and David Meyer; and on euphonium, Beth Chase and Monterio Benjamin. The Marshall Municipal Band performed its first concert of the season Thursday, May 31, at First United Methodist Church. The next concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, on the east side of the Saline County Courthouse. (Eric Crump/Democrat-News)

The Marshall Municipal Band will perform its second concert of the 91st season at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7, on the east side of the Saline County Courthouse, according to a news release from band Director Kevin Lines.

"We are looking forward to making it to the Marshall square this week after moving our concert inside last week due to temperatures in low 60s," Lines said.

The concert will begin with, arguably, the most famous circus march ever "Entrance of the Gladiators" by Julius Fucik, according to Lines.

This march, also know as "Thunder and Blazes," was written in 1897 and was originally composed for orchestra.

Fucik conceived this work as a lighter, symphonic orchestral march to mimic the style of popular music popular by the Strauss family. It has been performed for all types of circus acts and the first strain contains one of the most widely recognized march melodies of all times.

The band's first overture will be "Flight of Valor" by James Swearingen. This work is based on the well-known hymn "It Is Well With My Soul" and is respectfully dedicated to the heroes of United Flight 93 who tragically lost their lives in a Pennsylvania field on September 11, 2001.

The band's next work is "Ye Banks And Braes O'Bonnie Doon" by Percy Grainger. Born the son of an architect in Brighton, Victoria, Australia, Percy Grainger was a precocious pianist, and the proceeds of a series of concerts, given at the age of twelve, enabled him to study at Frankfurt for six years, according to Lines. After that, he began his European career as a concert pianist, settling in London in 1901. He came to the U. S. in 1915 and enlisted as an army bandsman at the outbreak of World War I. He became a United States citizen in 1919. It was during his stay in England that he became passionately involved in collecting and arranging folk songs and country-dances.

The trombone section will step to the front with the ever-popular "Trombone Blues." Lines will pick up his trombone and join the ranks of the trombone section and pass the director's baton to Ron Schuler. Schuler has played in the horn section for several years and is the retired band director from the Carrollton Public School System.

"Clear Track Polka" by Eduard Strauss is next on the concert program.

"The Strauss dynasty has now lasted over 150 years," Lines said. "It has brought forth in the illustrious and continuing family a long line of composers, conductors and performers whose efforts have delighted and entranced at least six generations of musicians, music lovers and audiences on every continent of the world."

"Clear Track Polka" depicts a railroad train being given the "clear track ahead" signal and after starting up and reaching cruising speed, takes its rider merrily on their happy, jingling way, with Straussian melodies as its fuel.

The music of the classic motion picture "The Wizard of Oz" will be featured in the band's next selection. This overture on themes from the movie will include "Over the Rainbow," "Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead," "We're Off to See The Wizard," "The Merry Old Land of Oz," and "If I Only Had a Brain."

The next work is new to the band's repertoire this season. "Danza Brilliante" was written by Giuseppe Verdi and is from his most famous and successful opera "Aida."

"Danza Brilliante" takes place at the beginning of the second act of "Aida." It takes place in ancient Egypt and tells the story of Aida, a kidnapped Ethiopian princess; Radames, an Egyptian officer who secretly loves her; and Amneris, the daughter of the Egyptian king and unrequited suitor of Radames.

Also new to the band's library this season is John Philip Sousa's "The Invincible Eagle."

Soon after he composed the work, Sousa described the conviction and artistic spirit which compelled him to compose this great march, according to Lines.

"This new march is what I call one of my 'sunshine' marches," Sousa once wrote. "Some of my heavy marches are intended to convey the impression of the stir and strife of warfare, but 'The Invincible Eagle' shows the military spirit at its lightest and brightest -- the parade spirit. In fact, with the bravery of uniform, the sheen of silken strands and the gleam of polished steel and all its other picturesque features."

A long-standing tradition of the band is to conclude each concert with a sacred work, a patriotic work, and the march "Uncle Sammy."

The hymn, "When the Stars Begin to Fall (My Lord What A Mourning)" will begin the closing trilogy.

The band's patriotic work will be "There's Something About a Soldier." This work is a descriptive patrol march portraying a day in the life of a soldier. The element that ties this work together is the use of bugle calls that are typically found in the military.

The concert will conclude with the band's signature march, "Uncle Sammy."

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